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    Operate Now: Hospital – $20 Gift Card Giveaway

    Available on iOS and Android exclusively from Spil Games

    Here at The Mommy Gamers we love giving stuff away to our community. Today it’s a $20 gift card to use for in game purchases in Operate Now: Hospital.

    Available on iOS and Android exclusively from Spil Games, Operate Now: Hospital, is a drama inspired medical journey, where you experience being a surgeon, building a medical team, and managing a hospital. In this realistic simulation game, your objective is to assemble a highly skilled medical team to perform operations on patients and to put your medical facility at the number one spot in the world.

    The game is free to download so you can start playing now while you wait to see if you’ve won. I’ll be playing as well and will return with a review of the game once the contest is over. I may have already gotten my husband hooked! Oh the hospital drama!

    Download from Google Play
    Download from iTunes

    Scrubs and gloves at the ready! Enter the giveaway below.

    Google Play / iTunes $20 Gift Card

    Kickstarter: Oniri Islands – Children of the River

    Oniri Islands children of the river The Mommy Gamers Kickstarter Review Hands On

    Oniri Islands:Children of the River is a co-op adventure from Tourmaline Studio coming to tablets in winter of 2017.  With only one day left the Oniri Islands Kickstarter project has surpassed their goal, meaning this beautiful adventure and exploration game will become a reality. You still have time to get in and help them reach their stretch goals, and collect fun rewards like having your name added to the game credits, stickers, digital art goodies and more!

    The Mommy Gamers Oniri Islands Children of the River Kickstarter Review Preview Hands On

    My daughter Hailey and I recieved acess to a demo of Oniri Islands as well as prototypes of the Mina and Tim figurines. Mina and Tim are “smart toys” that we moved around our tablet to explore the world of Oniri Islands. The cooperative play aspect of this game is such a fun feature. Hailey and I each took control of one of the figurines and worked together to travel through maze like sections, dodging quicksand, and working together to solve puzzles. In addition to using the toys to move around, they also were used to unearth items, and collect and carry quest items. We did not recieve the masks for the characters, but based on the demo they have secret powers tied to them that help players interact with the environment in fun and unique ways.

    Hailey just turned seven years old last week and she seems to be the perfect age for this app. She did get a little frustrated with a couple of the puzzles, as the demo version we played lacked a lot of guidance. However, I got the feeling that Oniri Islands is meant for exploration and creative thinking, and together we were able to put our heads together and figure out each challenge. While the demo we played was fairly short, I was very impressed with the way the story flowed. Between the lovely music, awesome visuals inspired by other games I love like Animal Crossing and Zelda Wind Waker, I look forward to adventuring through more of the Oniriverse.

    To learn more about Oniri Islands visit their Kickstarter page here, and if you decide to back this wonderful game make sure to tell them The Mommy Gamers sent you!

    *The Mommy Gamers recieved a demo of Oniri Islands and prototypes of the figurines for review purposes.

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    Care for Our World

    CareforOurWorldGameTheMommyGamers

    My daughter Amber and I received a copy of Care for Our World, an interactive storybook app for iPad, and we had a blast playing around with it. Care for Our World, written by Karen Roberts, was originally published as a book in 2012. It included punch-out animals for children to play with. Sunbreak Games, have brought that creative play to the app with features like Habitat Playset (Amber’s favorite feature) where children can use interactive stickers to create their own animal habitats, Coloring Book where you can color a scene from the book almost anyway you want to, and Animal Encyclopedia where your child can learn about all of the animals mentioned in the story as well as hear what they sound like, and see pictures of them in the real world.

     


    The actual storybook part of the app is well done for the most part, and is highly interactive. Nearly everything you touch has a reaction, and narration. The colors are vivid, and the illustrations are whimsical. In fact, the only thing that didn’t sit well with me was the narration. In my opinion, when you have a story with words that are rich and full of life, you should strive to have a narrator that matches them with their voice. Unfortunately, in this case the narrator falls a little flat, and while his voice is not unpleasant, he’s not far enough away from monotone for my liking. I also feel that since the app is geared for ages 3-8, not having an option for narration in the, Animal Encyclopedia section of the app was a missed opportunity, as younger children will need someone to read for them.

    Overall, I think Care for Our World is lovely, and has a great deal of replay value for children. It is well worth the $2.99 investment. You can download it now on the iOS App Store by clicking here.

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    GUEST REVIEW: Owlegories

    The fauna steps in where the flora fell down

    Owlegories_1

    I had been down this road before. I became a Christian in college and immediately was made aware of the presence of Christian-themed anthropomorphic produce shows.

    They were fine. I mean, they were cute, they told a story, had a Bible verse or two, and were generally exactly the kind of wholesome cartoons the classic Christian household would prefer to the likes of Spongebob Squarepants or Monster High.

    Then there was a feature-length movie. As the brand’s popularity skyrocketed, VeggieTales quickly spiraled down the drain, replacing Christian stories and lessons with a focus on therapeutic moralistic deism. Instead of adhering closely to the Scriptures as their source material (to the point of actually putting verses on screen), VeggieTales became an avenue for teaching moral lessons (be kind, love one another) through allegorical tellings of Biblical stories with animated fruits and vegetables. Phil Vischer, one of the creators of VeggieTales, shared his regrets about what happened in an interview with the Christian Examiner back in October of 2015.

    It became became a shell of what it was. It’s not that these lessons were bad, but they were no longer the Christian programming they purported to be. As such, there wasn’t great, widely available, Gospel-centered animated children’s programming anymore.

    Enter Owlegories. There is no doubt anyone with even casual familiarity with VeggieTales will immediately be reminded of it when the show begins, but the similarities to the VeggieTales we have today ends very quickly.

    Owlegories is a brand wrapped around a number of apps and direct-to-DVD/digital cartoon episodes. The brand makes use of a core cast of owls to tell of the glory of God through nature. Using metaphorical language, student owls learn from teacher owls about aspects of who and what God is that are like certain elements in nature. How is God like the sun? Like water? Like fire?

    Owlegories

    Owlegories is an inventive way to teach children about God by providing real world examples that can be replicated by parents. Instead of a story with ethereal touchpoints that is theoretically tied to a Biblical event (and taking wide liberties, at that) Owlegories provides concrete examples and concepts that are easy to grasp. Each episode features three ways in which God is like the aspect of nature they’re studying (the Baptist in me is proud).

    The episodes reminded me a lot of VeggieTales with a little bit of The Wild Kratts thrown in. There is an adorably goofy conflict with a classic over-the-top villian owl named Devlin in each episode that the student team needs to resolve, learning about God through nature along the way.

    My wife and I chuckled a few times while watching the three episodes with our children. Even though the construction of the episodes was superior to today’s VeggieTales, that wasn’t what impressed us the most: after the show was over, a guest would give a Gospel message.

    The episodes, which provide the bulk of the content, can be seen via DVD or by downloading the Owlegories TV app. There is also an “Owlegories: The Original” app that allows you to view a lot of the same information in a more interactive way. and an Owlegories memory verse app currently in development. The apps are currently available for iOS and Android.

    Owlegories App

    Owlegories is a labor of love initially developed by the Boto family. That team has grown to include a number of others including the accomplished Keith Alcorn, who has worked on movies like Jimmy Neutron and The Ant Bully. The leadership team is working with Spy House Productions and Gundersen Entertainment to bring Owlegories to market.

    Owlegories is well on its way to becoming a Gospel-themed multimedia force, if it can keep up the quality of what they have put out so far. I do hope they continue to do so, and especially that they don’t deviate from their banner verse(s): Psalm 19:1-4.

    Though I could pick nits with its theology from a personal preference perspective, I think Owelgories does an excellent job conveying the core message without diverting into a feel-good mess. I also think any parent who is looking for this kind of entertainment for their children is probably prepared to buttress it with direct teaching. Within this vein I’m very happy to see the continued efforts of the staff at Spy House/Gundersen Entertainment to engage their community on the Owlegories Blog.

    There are two Owlegories DVD’s currently available that can be purchased on Amazon or at Wal-Mart or a number of other brick & mortar stores. It is an excellently produced show with a clear Biblical message. If you’re a Christian parent looking for some entertainment for your kids that is a little more Biblical and a little less moralism, it might be something for you to check out. With additional content right at your fingertips via the apps, it is easy for a family to check it out to see if it is right for them.

    MoreOwls

    Owlegories DVD Giveaway

    YouTube Announces 60fps, Fan Funding, and More New Features

    youtube-logoWith the market for online videos continuing to evolve, YouTube is evolving with it. In a post on its official “Creators” blog yesterday, the company laid out plans for a host of new upgrades coming to the video service over the coming weeks and months, benefiting content creators and audiences alike.

    Unveiled at VidCon in Anaheim, CA this week and detailed in the post, the new YouTube features include:

    • Support for 48 and 60 frames per second – One of the biggest additions for gamers, YouTube videos will soon support HD playback in 48 and 60 frames per second. Sample videos showing off the new high fidelity include the multiplayer trailer for Battlefield: Hardline, as well as gameplay footage from Titanfall, both running a 60fps.

     

    • Fan funding – Taking a cue from services like Kickstarter and Indigogo, YouTube will soon give content creators an option to allow fans to support their channel by contribute funding directly to their channel at any time and for any reason. YouTube is already taking sign ups for the new feature here.
    • YouTube Creator Studio – Available now on Google Play and launching on iOS in the coming weeks, the YouTube Creator Studio allows content creators to have instant access to their channel analytics, comments, and channel management tools while on the go.
    • Creator credits – New credits will allow collaborators to be tagged directly in videos, linking to their YouTube channels and allowing for more inclusive search capabilities.
    • Fan-submitted subtitles – Expanding on YouTube’s current automatic speech recognition and translation features, fans will now be able to help content creators out by submitting more accurate translations in any language based on the subtitles or captions that exist in their videos
    • Expanded Audio Library – Adding to the existing collection of free songs currently available for use in its Audio Library, YouTube has announced that it will be adding thousands of royalty-free sound effects to the collection, giving content creators more options when editing videos for their channels.
    • Interactive Info Cards – An update to the current annotations available on videos, new info cards will not only look cleaner, but will also sport interactive features, as well as uniform functionality cross-platform, whether viewing videos on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone device.

    YouTube also announced a new partnership deal with SiriusXM, which includes the launch of “The YouTube 15,” a weekly show on SiriusXM’s Hits 1, hosted by Jenna Marbles, which will feature the biggest names and rising stars in music from YouTube.

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